Four days after a mob gate crashed into the annual festival of Gargi College under Delhi University and molested women, Delhi Police visited the college on Monday to inspect CCTV footage, chairperson of the Delhi Women’s Commission Swati Maliwal visited the college and the college administration relented under pressure and decided to file a police complaint.
HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal told Parliament that he had asked the college authorities to look into the complaints. While the minister made light of the complaint, there was outrage over delayed action by the police, which had stood by during the ruckus, and the failure of the HRD minister to condemn it.
Students on Monday gathered in the college campus and demanded resignation of the Acting principal, Promila Kumar. They blamed her for not doing enough to stop the hooliganism and responding to students’ complaint of sexual harassment with indifference.
She has been quoted as telling students that if they felt unsafe at the festival, they should not have attended it. She also told the media that there was an enclosure for the girls and if they were outside the enclosure, the college could not be held responsible for their safety.
Students maintain that last year too there were hooligans who had invaded the campus during the annual festival and felt free to grope women and molest them. This year, therefore, it was decided to issue a pass system and men with passes were to be allowed entry on the third day of the festival. But several thousand men, they allege, gate crashed the campus, made lewd gestures, propositioned, groped the women and rubbed against them.
Police and RAF, they allege, did nothing. Nor did the college authorities ask the police to intervene. Students’ Union collected statements of students molested and harassed. Following the massive protest on Monday, the college agreed to file a police complaint.